Do you know the end before you begin?

That’s my question. Basically, a more specific, focused version of “are you a planner or a pantser?” Do you have to know how a story is going to end before you start writing it, or are you willing and/or able to muddle along and let the story determine its end in good time?

I’m not just talking about CSGs, either. Any kind of writing project, or creative work at all.

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I know how I want my story to end. However, getting people there while giving them enough choices to get them invested in the story. That’s where the fun/work is.

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Most of the time ? Always . Thats how for me, the story is born . I get the beginning and the ending. And when I start writing said story, I fight for that middle as I go along .

Homewhever, the ending is always open to change . Sometimes it change, and sometimes it stay as I imagined it .

But really, it is not a bad thing . It can get hard, feel a bit like ‘‘Damn! it’s getting away from me and now I’m not sure how to take it…There!’’, but it’s better in my opinion then shoving a rigide ending in the story .

I don’t see myself as a planner though, since like I just said…it can change . And Alot of things change in a story . I could plan for a comedy (which I did last month) and my story turned into a massive Angst-feast :sweat_smile:

Go with the flow seem to work better .

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Yes.

Now, I think there’s something to be said about the dynamism of writing “blind”, but I’ve learned that you miss out on a lot of things by not having a concrete ending in mind before you begin writing: foreshadowing, thematic consistency, etc.

The most unsatisfying endings of my favorite stories (cough Mass Effect 3 cough) were the result of the creators winging it. And with that being such a long-form story spanning across multiple games and comics… well, I a planned end would have saved a lot of heartbreak.

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I always start out knowing how the story is going to end, but then my idea of the ending almost always changes about halfway through the story anyway… Still, I usually sort of know what I’m writing towards even if that shifts!

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look around suspiciously So…who poked ‘Chaotic Plantser’’ and though elfroot like meh, huh ? come on, don’t be shy! :smirk:

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Since I plan most of the major bits out first I usually know most of the major endings before I finish a story. I typically work on those paths last since those I already have an idea about how they’re going to go.

Things are always subject to alteration of course if necessary though.

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With CSGs, given the multiplicity of endings, it becomes a somewhat easier question. I am sure there willl be loads of endings to XoR that I won’t know until I write them.

As for the shape of the final dilemmas/choices the game will offer…well, I’m more a pantser than a planner. I don’t think I’ve ever started a project with the precise final outcome in mind. I’ve done quite a lot of planning for XoR Game 5 in the past couple of years that I don’t think I could usefully have done earlier. But it’s not total pantsing, and can’t be, because I need to be setting things up now that will pay off then…

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I don’t know the end when I begin. But after I write the end, I rewrite the beginning to make it seem as if I did.

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isn’t that cheating? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Once I’ve done some world and character building, but before I actually start writing, I’ll take a good look at what I have and figure out the broad strokes of the ending. I don’t hold myself to it though, if through the course of writing the ending changes some or I get new ideas I think work better, that original ending will be changed or discarded as needed!

I still like to have that initial idea for an ending to exist though, like a large circled area on a map I know i need to head towards and as I get closer the circle narrows and narrows till the ending comes fully into focus.

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Oh, excellent point. That seems like a sound system.

I like this description a lot, too. It feels like a really representative way of explaining the process of discovery writing.

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For a standalone game. :wink: How will it work for Cakes & Ale?

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I guess we’ll find out. This multi-game stuff is hard. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind attempts it.

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I usually have an important scene in mind. For Voltaic, it’s the confrontation between Madison and MC at the beginning of Chapter 4. Endings usually come later, after I’ve written the first two chapters. Funnily enough, I tend to work on endings when I have writer’s block on the current chapter.

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No… lol. I think I need a solid beginning/middle before I get an idea for an ending, and then I’ll probably go back and change accordingly. Like, Jesus, I rewrote a prologue 4-5 times before I even could proceed to think about what’s gonna happen after.

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Roughly, yes. I decide a general outline and idea of the arc, but always leaving room for changes and expansions of original ideas. Gotta have a theme to start, but then you can be creative on the way. Like setting out on a hike in an unfamiliar area, knowing the location you chose to start and having a general idea of what you’d like to see or do on the way, but there could always be a secret path or two to find, or a change in weather, directions, or plans. If that makes sense. :sweat_smile:

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I know one end before I begin, but by the time I get there, it doesn’t make sense any more. I just think of one early to give me comfort through the lean winter months of writing.

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Stephen King’s piece of advice was not to have a detailed plan of the story but rather unfold it through writing. I manage to follow his advice only when working on academic papers and essays—before data collection and analysis I can only guess (h0) which conclusions I will reach :slight_smile:

In creative writing I usually know how the story’s going to end. The day the idea of a Sci-Fi CSG crossed my mind, I came up with 12 major endings. A further process of plot and characters development added to the last parts the details and smaller alterations.

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I have a vague idea of an ending, but I try not to have it set in stone.

Mostly, when it comes to ending, I’m going for a certain feeling or theme, rather than actual events. I know what feeling I want the audience to walk away from, even if I don’t know exactly what happens to cause it.
It lets characters progress much more naturally when you aren’t steering toward a plot point, and just letting them do what it feels natural for them to do.

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